How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of things you can take into consideration when selecting the best pest control company for you. You may consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods as well as its customer reviews and years of experience. Of course, there is also the cost of services to consider.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, licensing is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Massachusetts must be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help show that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. For this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Additional certifications can be obtained through trade organizations like QualityPro.
A pest control company can also hold membership in various professional organizations. Membership in an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to education and resources, plus a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Membership in one of these organizations is not required, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The number of years that a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with the pests that live in Woburn. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also inform you whether it has the experience necessary to handle your specific pest problem. If you cannot find the answers to your questions online, contacting the company directly is an excellent way to learn about its areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore social media and local review sites to hear what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing via the Massachusetts licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should try to determine whether a company offers free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also take into account what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not fixed, or returns, will the company provide additional treatment until the issue is handled satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be influenced by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions around pesticides being used around your home, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control provider should be able to supply information about any pesticides they plan on using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they plan to take. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
Pest professionals looking to reduce their use of chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.